This August, I'll be attending WordCamp Portland.

I'll also be speaking at WordCamp Portland.

Last week, I also decided to sponsor WordCamp Portland.

Why all the investment?  It's simple.  I love Portland.  I love WordPress.  And I have a blast spending money on the things that I love.

My first WordCamp ever was in Portland.  I had just been exposed to the platform and didn't really know any other developers. Or users. Or anyone who had even heard of WordPress.  My blog at the time was still hosted on Blogger, and I was using e107 to power my first website.

A friend actually had to talk me in to going. He even paid for my ticket.  Honestly, in the beginning I couldn't care less for WordPress.

What Changed?

The best thing about WordPress isn't the database, the UI, the Codex, or even the fact that it's free.  The best thing about WordPress is the community that surrounds it.  The developers who build it, the writers who document it, and the flesh-and-blood people who use it at the end of the day.

Getting to meet other WordPress users was exciting.  We could relate to one another's issues and talk at great length about our experience.  We also had a great time watching Jane Wells show off some awesome improvements to the UI.

My first WordCamp sold me on the platform.  I stopped worrying about the other (clunkier) CMS platforms and began to hone in on actually using a system and getting to know the people who made it.  I build my first plugin during WordCamp.  I wrote my first core patch not long after that.

So Why Sponsor?

WordPress has done a great deal to impact my life - I believe in giving back to the causes and organizations that have helped me so they might continue to help others.  After all, my goal in life is to help others launch their dreams - what better way than by helping fund the same event that helped launch mine?

Sponsoring also means I have 2 extra tickets in my pocket to give away.  I'll hold on to them for now (there are plenty of tickets left for salego buy one), but you can probably expect some kind of contest/giveaway as the event grows near.  Stay tuned, and maybe you can join me at this awesome event!